After reports surfaced of the emergency homeless shelter located at the former Pan American Hotel being infested with rats, members of the Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) continue to voice their concerns over the planned opening of a homeless shelter in Glendale.
During the April 30 JPCA meeting in Middle Village, president Robert Holden asked state Senator Joseph Addabbo to write a letter to NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, asking him not to sign any contracts with Samaritan Village. The nonprofit group operates the Pan American emergency shelter and has a pending contract to operate a shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale.
“Can you write us a letter and say, with all the problems with Samaritan Village, we need them to back off and don’t expand into other facilities?” Holden asked Addabbo, adding that there would be “rats and other things” at the proposed Cooper Avenue shelter — just like in the Pan Am shelter. “Certainly they don’t deserve to run any facility.”
Addabbo responded that he will have a personal conversation with Stringer about the proposed Glendale shelter.
“This is what my community needs, I don’t think you should sign it,” Addabbo said he would tell Stringer. “I think it’s a wrong road going down with Samaritan Village.”
Addabbo also mentioned a town hall meeting last May in which the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) said no families would be put into the Pan Am Hotel location due to the fact that there were no kitchens in the rooms where they wanted families to live.
“And about four weeks later, what do you know, families are in there,” Addabbo said. “It just confirmed for me that you cannot trust Samaritan Village, you cannot trust Department of Homeless Services.”
Holden assured those in attendance that their fighting, largely conducted in partnership with the Glendale Middle Village Coalition, has not gone unheard. The opening of the shelter has been delayed due to their continuing fight.
“We’ve been winning rounds, by the way,” Holden said. “The reason this thing hasn’t gone forward is because the coalition has been battling; every time they put something in with the Department of Buildings, we challenge it.”